All Star Break Updated Consensus Ranks: First Base

The king is dead. Long live the king.

That’s right, we have a new number one. For many of you, it’ll be far too late to move Albert Pujols off the top of the heap. But, given how his season went last year, and the excellence he’s shown his whole career, and his combination of contact and power, and his bad batting average on balls in play, it seemed like the good bet was on him to recapture some magic once he was healthy. Maybe the all-star break will help him, but now the mounting evidence about his decline (three-year declines in ISO and HR/FB in particular) is just too much to ignore.

The replacement top dog is not by consensus, however. It’s a pick em, so my ranking got the extra weight. It’s what the boss does in situations like this. But it is worth noticing that all four rankers had a different number one first baseman. Who’s your number one?

Is it the breakout power-crazy star in Baltimore? Or the five-cat youngster in Arizona? Or the steady eddie in Detroit?

With the color-coding we hope to highlight the biggest movers. That definition changes as you follow the ranks down the list — players had to move more to register a color change as you near the bottom of the list. These are rest-of-season rankings for 5×5 roto. Jeff Zimmerman’s rankings are a combination of ZiPs and Steamer rest-of-season projections with playing time determined by our depth charts. You can find the projections on every player page and the depth charts here.

1 Paul Goldschmidt 1 2 4 3
2 Prince Fielder 4 3 1 2
3 Joey Votto 2 4 2 4
4 Chris Davis 3 10 3 1
5 Edwin Encarnacion 6 6 5 5
6 Albert Pujols 8 1 7 10
7 Adrian Gonzalez 5 7 8 8
8 Anthony Rizzo 7 5 11 12
9 David Ortiz 10 14 6 6
10 Buster Posey 9 8 14 7
11 Allen Craig 12 11 9 14
12 Billy Butler 13 9 13 11
13 Freddie Freeman 11 13 12 13
14 Eric Hosmer 14 12 16 20
15 Mark Trumbo 15 15 15 17
16 Joe Mauer 19 18 17 9
17 Michael Cuddyer 16 16 10 26
18 Kendrys Morales 23 24 19 15
19 Carlos Santana 21 23 25 18
20 Adam Dunn 20 19 30 21
21 Adam LaRoche 25 26 18 24
22 Brandon Belt 18 20 27 35
23 Nick Swisher 24 22 20 36
24 Paul Konerko 22 17 24 42
25 Matt Carpenter 17 44 32 16
26 Ike Davis 29 35 21 28
27 Adam Lind 28 34 36 19
28 Mike Napoli 30 39 26 27
29 Chris Carter 32 32 29 30
30 Todd Frazier 27 31 23 44
31 Mitch Moreland 26 43 34 23
32 Garrett Jones 35 25 37 33
33 Logan Morrison 33 47 33 25
34 Yonder Alonso 38 37 35 29
35 Mark Reynolds 36 36 28 43
36 Justin Morneau 31 40 42 31
37 Michael Young 39 30 43 32
38 James Loney 41 38 44 22
39 Daniel Murphy 34 21 46 45
40 Brandon Moss 42 41 31 34
41 Lance Berkman 37 48 41 41
42 Luke Scott 48 52 38 39
43 Darin Ruf 47 52 39 40
44 Justin Smoak 46 52 47 37
45 Lucas Duda 43 46 48 46
46 Chris Johnson 44 49 40 52
47 Dustin Ackley 45 42 49 52
48 Michael Morse 40 45 52 52
49 Brett Wallace 49 52 45 52
50 Chris Parmelee 50 52 52 52

Also ranked once were Jeff Keppinger, Mike Carp, Carlos Pena, Jordan Pacheco, and Ryan Howard.

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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.

45 Responses to “All Star Break Updated Consensus Ranks: First Base”

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  1. HoJam23 says:

    No way Votto isn’t #1. Dude has been too good for too long to not be. Goldschmidt is having a stealer season no doubt… not trying to disrespect his season… but I take Votto over anyone.

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    • Cuck city says:

      seems like the top 3 are pretty much equal, scoring 10-10-12 points.

      get your panties unbunched and take a dose of reality.

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      • Jacks says:

        In a 4X4 league that doesn’t count Runs, I’m not so sure Votto is even a top ten guy anymore. I’ve owned him for years and have him pretty cheap, but I’m starting to hate his approach (which is Don’t Make an Out rather than Hit a Ball Hard, and maybe that’s good in real life, but it sucks for fantasy if you don’t count OBP).

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  2. Jeff Zimmerman says:

    I already took a little heat for putting still putting Albert #1 from the other rankers. For my rankings, I just take an average of Steamer(ROS) and ZIPS(ROS).

    Here are the 1B in each projection systems



    Both systems see Albert performing worse than at the beginning of the season, but ZIPS has him declining faster (and Chris Davis climbing faster). The systems are using historical weighting, so they have an idea on how to weight current data.

    I am not sure the exact amount to weight the 2013 data, but looking at the values, I may move from a 50/50 weighting to more of a 67/33 leaning towards ZIPS.

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    • Andy says:

      Neither of them have Pujols at the top when sorted by wOBA or OPS. What stats are you using to rank the players?

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    • Cybo says:

      So you don’t actually have any opinion of your own you just rank the ROS projections… Umm thx I guess.

      Also Chris Davis at 10 just behind Country Breakfast ranked 9 seems pretty silly to me.

      PS I think one of our leagues has an opening and you would totally be a great fit. The team has Chris Davis but I’ll happily trade you Rizzo for him to get ya goin in your new league.

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      • Cliff says:

        I’m 100% certain of very few things in this world. I am certain, however, that Jeff Zimmermam knows a whole hell of a lot more about fantasy baseball than you do.

        -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • IDrago says:

        cliff, your empty put-down is pretty irrelevant in response to a comment criticizing Zimmerman for *not actually using* his superior fantasy baseball knowledge here.

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      • Spiral Stairs says:

        Lol – pretty much.

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    • The Legend of Zoilo says:

      Jeff, you’re a smart guy, but you get hammered on these rankings every time. I understand your desire for a statistical basis, and for the most part it comes out ok. But you always have a couple of really egregious outliers. Pujols at 1 and Davis at 10 are just unjustifiably wrong. So, some constructive criticism, why don’t you start with your statistical basis, then take a look at it, find the obvious problems, and take your best guess at fixing them.

      +18 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • ralph says:

        I like having a projections-only ranking, but I don’t understand why we can’t have that, PLUS a list from Jeff that contains actual insight from Jeff.

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    • ncb says:

      I’m all for statistical projections, but I have a huge issue with how you do yours. Chris Davis is so low here because Steamer has him missing 15 or so games with an injury.

      I know we need to account somehow for games missed, but just summing up the total stats and ranking is not the way to do. I personally run my own system based on RoS ZIPS where I 1)calculate a per game value for each player and then 2)slot in a replacement players value for projected games missed. This is much more accurate because in the fantasy world you wouldn’t have a dead zone for the 15 games Chris Davis misses.

      P.S. I play in a head-to-head league so I use my own stat weights based on Monte Carlo simulations so they are slightly different than yours. However after viewing these lists for awhile it always seems that when the projection systems have a player missing time they plummet on your rankings way more than they should.

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      • ncb says:

        Steamer and Zips also have your other 2 huge out liars (D. Ortiz and M. Carpenter)missing significant playing time. If you were to add in replacement level fantasy projection (assuming a 12 person league as thats what most people play) they would both soar up your rankings.

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      • ncb says:

        Quick ranked list based ENTIRELY on RoS Zips while accounting for fantasy level replacements for games missed:
        1 Joey Votto
        2 Paul Goldschmidt
        3 Edwin Encarnacion
        4 Albert Pujols
        5 Chris Davis
        6 Allen Craig
        7 Prince Fielder
        8 Anthony Rizzo
        9 David Ortiz
        10 Freddie Freeman
        11 Buster Posey
        12 Adrian Gonzalez
        13 Mark Trumbo
        14 Eric Hosmer
        15 Billy Butler
        16 Chris Carter
        17 Paul Konerko
        18 Adam Lind
        19 Ryan Howard
        20 Mark Teixeira
        21 Mike Carp
        22 Mike Napoli
        23 Kendrys Morales
        24 Matt Carpenter
        25 Adam Dunn

        If I missed someone its probably because I don’t have them at 1B in my rankings. H2H valuation of stats (those with higher variance (SBs) valued less than the would be in roto.

        Looks a lot different than JZs but still based entirely on projections and formulas.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        We’ve been looking into this. I think one problem I’ve had with using RL for the full missed amount is that there are missed games in between, and before and after DL stints, that do actually go away. And once you have one DL spot filled, then your next hurt player doesn’t necessarily have a place to go, and you may not have an RL guy to slot in. So things get very specific to your league very quickly, and it’s hard to do in a general way. We’ll keep looking into it. Perhaps we can even just replace less than 100% of the missed time, but settling on that number is also not easy.

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      • ncb says:

        I see all your points. I usually set the games played to a few less than each team has games remaining. Players like Fielder should obviously be rewarded for playing every day. I also understand that it gets very league specific as well. Number of DL spots, amount of bench players, replacement level players available, etc….

        However you got to do something about the projected games played issue. I’d argue that all the things above are probably minor compared to having Chris Davis valued as assuming he is on the DL yet still occupying an active roster spot.

        Maybe just develop whatever system you like and state what exactly goes into the projections so people can adjust for their own league?

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  3. yosoyfiesta says:

    Chris Davis #1, done and done, Sanders had it right

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  4. productive out says:

    I understand the supremacy of using zips and steamer and whatever, but it kind of feels like a dodge when fantasy experts defer to the robots and defend the practice by saying that robots are really smart. I guess it sort of takes the fun out columns like this – like during chats when we’re told to check out the projections to answer a player/rank question.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      I try not to do that in chats. I also think that having one guy of four be tied to the projections is great. It’s 25% computer, 75% human.

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      • Wobatus says:

        That’s kind of like my retirement accounts: 35% indexes, 65% active managers.

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      • Ruki Motomiya says:

        What I don’t get is why we can’t have an actual JZ ranking where we get his lovely thoughts (Since he is a pretty cool guy!) and then just a fifth ranking for “CPU” or something that melds Steamer/ZIPs together.

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      • Eric Dykstra says:

        We can always just look at the projections ourselves, so I don’t think it’s necessary, or even useful, to have someone tied to projections for this ranking. It’s also weird to put someone’s name on it when they don’t use any of their insight for the ranking.

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      • ncb says:

        please see my post above regarding JZ’s methodology. I’m all for using projected stats, but you also need to be adding in replacement level production when the projection systems have guys missing time.

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  5. Mike says:

    How can these guys rank Ike Davis over Alonso (or anyone for that matter)? I realize he was hurt but Ike davis wouldn’t make the AAA all star team. Alonso is quietly having a very good season.

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    • Giovani says:

      You sure about that? Granted, Ike has been worse, but I don’t consider a .718 OPS from a 1B a very good season.

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  6. Dolemite says:

    making me feel good about Goldy as my CI and prince as my 1B in my 12 team roto ;)

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  7. Froglegs Jackson says:

    Chris Davis at #10 is indefensible. I understand JZ uses a combination of ZIPS and Steamer to formulate his rankings, but it wouldn’t hurt to incorporate some common sense as well.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      That’s why we have three other guys. Do you think Chris Davis at number four is indefensible?

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      • Froglegs Jackson says:

        Of course not. But if JZ’s rankings are purely a combination of two projection systems, why list his name in the rankings at all?

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      • Shibboleth says:

        I still don’t understand why people get twisted over JZ’s column. It’s a baseline, pure and simple. If you look at steamer or zips when evaluating a player, this kind of info is useful. Do those projections favor a certain type of player? At a certain position? How do they handle seasons out of left field like Chris Davis? All useful knowledge to have when forming your own opinion…

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      • Jon L. says:

        I agree with Froglegs. If instead of listing a person’s name, you just listed the automated methodology, there would be no confusion. (And you can still credit him for choosing/applying the methodology.)

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      The one reason I rank the players using just projections is because no one else does at all. Plenty of people, Eno, Mike, Zack, Fake Teams, Razzball, Yahoo!, CBS, ESPN, have their (biased) opinions on who should be where. I wanted a ranking without opinion so I created one. I have my opinions, but wanted just one unbiased ranking. One based off historic performance.

      As soon as a I make any change off of my gut or a SportsCenter clip, it makes the list I wanted invalid.

      Do I take other facts into consideration, damn right. Hell, I have tracked players playing through injuries just to get an idea of the effects on players. I have my own metrics on batted ball distance (and hopefully xHR numbers soon) at BBHM.

      I want a projection baseline available for reference. If someone publishes one great, I will make a list with too much weight being placed on SSS. Until, I will create my list based off of just projections.

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      • jfree says:

        Personally I like that approach – and as long as you are the decider-in-chief, then the results are yours. Stick to your guns. The alternative (caring one whit about what a bunch of anonymous people may think about one’s picks) leads solely to the tyranny of groupthink and “consensus”.

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      • Your ranking is not unbiased, it’s just differently biased.

        (And I think it’s a fine addition to these rankings, thank you for your participation.)

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      • Free Edwin says:

        Jeff – I think the issue with that is that they want to hear what YOU think, because you write great columns and people want to know more about what you’re thinking. Why not just publish the ZIPS list as just that and weigh the rankings dividing by 5, and let us all know how you would rank them, if anything it would make the rankings even more comprehensive?

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      • ncb says:


        Gave you my own opinions on your methodology above, but I want to say I really respect your work especially the injury tracking stuff. Keep it coming!

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  8. Lethal says:

    How does so many have Fielder over Votto? Votto is killing him in runs, hits, and average. He has a few more steals, 1 less HR, and a bunch less RBI. Does 27 RBI make up for everything else? The average is .318 vs .267?

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    • Lethal says:

      Forgot walks too-my league counts walks and Votto is killing him there with 21. Yahoo has Votto at 29 and Fielder at 58 which is a significant gap.

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  9. Rodney says:

    I like Paul Goldscmihdth.

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  10. Dancing Homer says:

    I know that logic will not be on my side after I say what I have to say, but aren’t you guys all way, way too low on James Loney? I mean, I’m a Dodgers fan, so his level of performance is both annoying and unprecedented, BUT, none of you think that any of this is at all real? I think he belongs in that 20-25 range with the likes of Dunn, Konerko, Swisher, etc. Also, Konerko is a sinking ship, I’d be bailing on the guy if you haven’t already. He deserves to move down.

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  11. Free Edwin says:

    When is Edwin Encarnacion gonna get more respect? Situation similar to Chris Davis in that he is a post hype sleeper finally hitting on potential in a good situation) except he’s already proved he can do it for a season and a half. He outperformed Fielder last year, he’s easily outperforming him again and Toronto’s offense is good and should be even better 2nd half (I.e. more RBI opportunities), personally I’d value him more than Prince who is having a good but not great year.

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  12. Cybo says:

    So how did those Pujols projections work out for ya the past couple seasons? Also it seems kind of redundant to have any kind of projections for these rankings. FG has those rankings year round so why are they needed here? Being much more familiar with Zips and Steamer then the rest of us I would imagine you (JZ) would be much more familiar with the flaws each system has and have some insight about which players should exceed their projections. This is the kind of information I and a lot of others check FG daily for. You guys are the fantasy experts. We want to know what YOU think. We value YOUR opinions. We appreciate your work and insights very much. Thanks for everything and sorry for the rant.

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  13. nilbog44 says:

    Lol at Rizzo over Craig and Posey. I had all 3 of these guys. I dropped Rizzo about a month ago and haven’t regretted it for a second

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